Friday, July 25, 2008


This rainy season, we'll give you another blasting set to to make you skank like never before. We will be blasting your ears with the best line up of tracks from our archives. This blogcast #7 is set to introduce you to some of the epic and current reggae/ska fleet, taking over to bring a funky element for your week.

Kicking off for this blogcast is a renowned rocksteady harmony that will invite you to rip up the dancefloor with their unstoppable sound - The Gaylads. Formerly known as the Gaylords, they were formed in 1963 and recorded for Studio One and released two albums, The Soul Beat and Sunshine Is Golden and several other albums from other labels and with shifting line ups. As some members began to work with other groups, their activities ground to a temporary halt, but returned in force with the hit "Stop Making Love" which became a regular fixture in 1966. This pulling track is one of the most regarded as The Gaylads' winner track.

Covered by Bad Manners in 1993 (Fat Sound) and also by our very own Neighbors in one of their independently released albums (this and other Neighbors albums we will feature in upcoming blogcasts), this track has become an essential rocksteady must-haves as is it being included in most Studio One's Ska & Rocksteady compilation albums such as Ska Bonanza and Club Ska '67. These Studio One compilations are really great additions to your music collection. These are some of the first albums I got from HMV Hongkong many many years ago. Too bad they don't have the same pile of good stuff in there anymore.

Ska Bonanza is a 2-disc compilation album which includes tracks from Skatalites, Ken Boothe, Stranger Cole, Roland Alphonso, Soul Venders, Rita Marley/The Wailers, Cornell Campbell, Roland Alphonso, Eric 'Monty' Morris, Owen Grey, Clue J and His Blues Blasters, Frank Anderson, Tommy Mc Cook, Lee Perry, Lester Sterling, Checkmates, Bunny and Skitter, Jiving Juniors, Allen Ellis, Eddie Parkins, Audrey Adams, Jackie Opel and many more. While the "Club Ska '67" is another decent collection for novices to the genre. The best being some of the more well-known ska tunes such as Desmond Dekker's "007" (Shanty Town), Delroy Wilson's more laid-back "Dancing Mood," and The Maytals' "Broadway Jungle." All of the tracks here were recorded between 1964 and 1967, so the sound leaves a bit to be desired. Although Club Ska '67 only consists of 13 classic ska tracks, its fair enough to firmly say "walang tapon."
Go get these albums!

Another good compilation album which includes a local band Brownbeat All-Stars' "Hunger" is the "Global Ska" compilation album. I got this 2-disc modern and third wave ska compilation from our good friend Myra (a.ka. Skarlet) herself. I was surprised when she told me their Hunger track was included in this compilation when she let me borrow this album from her. Hats off and delighted to see one our local acts runs side by side here with some of the greatest in the ska scene such as Hepcat, Rico Rodriguez, The Slackers, Laurel Aitken, Lord Tanamo, Mark Foggo, The Planet Smashers, Dr. Ring-Ding and other awesome artists from various parts of the world! Great album! 2-disc, 40 tracks.

Meanwhile, pulling out all the stops are The Aggrolites with their "Free Time" masterpiece thats playing an astounding airplay on some influential alternative music stations as well as numerous reggae specialty programs abroad. Taken from their 2007 "Reggae Hit LA" album, this album is guaranteed to raise the roof from start to finish. Made up of some of the most soulful music around and coined by Hellcat Records as one of the world's hardest working bands with serious talent to boot, they have crafted the perfect out of town album. They have rooted their music from tradition making it soulful, honest and true. Just like some say, "boses pa lang, ulam na." Jesse Wagner truly bears an authentic R&B torch thats so explosive and really delivers a bang. Their sound is a mix old school reggae with rock, soul and funk. Imagine fusing together the music of The Meters, Toots & the Maytals and The Clash. The resulting sound is a thick blend of rhythm and melody, an infectious sound called "dirty reggae." If I have to rate Reggae Hit L.A. from one to five, this one is definitely a five! -and same with their other releases. Over the six years of their existence, they have produced three albums so far: Dirty Reggae, Axe Records, 2003; The Aggrolites, Hellcat Records, 2006 and Reggae Hit L.A., Hellcat Records, 2007. All of which are sure providers of good infectious dance floor rocking fun! The band's name comes from the British slang term aggro, which is short for aggravation or aggression (often referring to violence) often heard on the football terraces of the 1970's "A.G, A.G.R, A.G.R.O, Aggro!"

Other tracks on this playlist taken from:


Carolina - Rico Rodriguez
El Pussy Cat - Mongo Santamaria
Happy Hour - Spunge
Free Time - The Aggrolites
Off On Holiday - Suggs
A Fine Romance - Skinnerbox
Two Joints - The Rudiments
Red Red Wine - Tony Tribe
54-46 That's My Number - The Maytals
These Boots Are Made For Walking - Symarip
Ex-Factor - Monster
What'cha Gonna Do About It_ - Small Faces
Freedom Street - Monty Alexander with Ernest Ranglin
Hunger - The Brownbeat All-Stars
You're Ready Now - Bobby Bennett
You're The Boss - Lavern Baker & Jimmy Ricks
The Prince - The Crooked Beat
Stop Making Love - The Gaylads
Almost Like Being In Love - Afterhours feat. Alex Desert
Exodus - Jazz Jamaica
Armagideon Time - The Clash


Monday, July 14, 2008


We present this week's blogcast in memory of Laurel Aitken's death anniversary now on its third year; He died July 17, 2005. Widely acknowledged as the 'Godfather of Ska' and affectionately known as "Boss Skinhead", he died of a heart attack at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, England. Aitken was born in Cuba on April 22, 1927 and moved to his father's homeland of Jamaica in 1938. In 1957 he began his recording career with the single "Roll Jordan Roll." The double A-side "Little Sheila" / "Boogie in my Bones" was the first single released on Chris Blackwell's Island Records, one of the first ever ska records, and the first Jamaican recording ever released in England. Aitken relocated to the U.K. and recorded numerous hits throughout the 60s. He was later acknowledged as "an elder statesman to the Two Tone ska revival movement of the punk era".

The 2-Tone era saw Aitken performing with the English Beat, touring with mod band Secret Affair, and backed by punk/reggae act the Ruts. In the 80s, Aitken regularly toured the U.K. and recording with British act Potato 5. In 1986 appeared in mod film Absolute Beginners alongside David Bowie. Throughout the late 90s he performed with several third-wave ska acts, including the Toasters and the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble. In 2003, he was hospitalised with double pneumonia, but recovered better than expected and returned to performing. His last concert was in January 2005. He performed occasional concerts almost until his death from a heart attack in 2005. After a long campaign, a blue plaque in his honour was put up at his Leicester home in 2007.

Jungle Beat - Undercover S.K.A.
Jamboree - Laurel Aitken with Court Jesters Crew
Family Planning - Dolphy & Panchito
Everything Crash - The Ethiopians
Thinking of You (featuring Doreen Schaefer) - The Slackers
The Skinheads Dem A Come - Mr. Symarip
Step Lightly - General Rudie
Skinhead Love Affair - Bad Manners
Skatalation - Rhyth-O-Matics
Shadow Of A Man - Bedouin Soundclash
Sally Brown - Laurel Aitken
Rudi Got Married - Laurel Aitken
Wreck A Pum Pum - Prince Buster & The Aggrolites
Wasted on You - Franceska
Brown eyed girl - Laurel Aitken with Court Jesters Crew
Boogie With The Bartender - Laurel Aitken
Boogie In My Bones - Laurel Aitken
Rescue Me - The Reggae Girls
Magulong Pamilya - Dolphy & Panchito
Mad About You - Laurel Aitken
keep on - Hepcat
Big 5 - Judge Dread


Friday, July 4, 2008

Lets Have An Independence Day! (RADIO BLOGCAST #5)

We'll take advantage of this weekend to treat you with another festive list of tracks with some originals and some cover songs by your favorite reggae and ska artists! One original song I included here is a song that really caught the ears of many, Its "It Must Be Love", a song that was originally written and recorded in 1971 by an English poet, songwriter and singer, Labi Siffre. This was taken from his "Crying Laughing Loving Lying" album of the same year. And in 1981, Madness did a version of this wonderfully written song and gained much radio airplay in the 80's and the 90s.

Labi Siffre makes a cameo appearance as a violin player in their It Must Be Love music video.

The Specials also did a version of "I Don't Want to See You Cry" which was included in their 1996 album Today's Specials. What I included here is the 1968 version by Ken Boothe. He was just 17 then in '68 when he recorded his first album, "Mr. Rock Steady" from which this track was taken.

And who can forget The Specials' 2-tone hit version of "Rudy, A Message To You"? which was originally by Dandy Livingstone in 1967. The UK 2-Tone movement of the late 70s brought Livingstone to a new audience. Another 2-tone artist, The Selecter is here too, with their "Time Hard" ska rendition. This is my kumpareng Dannyboy's favorite!

Also included here are some requested tracks such as "Hold Me Tight" by Lynn Taitt & The Jets, Laurel Aitken's "Zion City" and "Love" from our own local ska scene pioneers, Put3Ska. Just like our good friend Luis said, "Peborit!" :-)

You'd be surprised to hear Stevie Wonder's "Wondering" track here which packs a good blend of Jazz and Soul recorded in 1962! This track will surely make you jump and dance as you hear Little Stevie's hypnotic keyboards! Pair it with The Dave Davani Four's guitar, drums and hammond rich track "Top Of The Pops" and you're good to go shufflin'!

I wont say much about today's playlist, but all I can say is they're all great! With lots of all-time favorites and good-vibe tunes for all your listening pleasure! Nuff said and play 'em loud!


The Ring - Victor Rice
Top Of The Pops - The Dave Davani Four
Ska-Ra-Van - Roland Alphonso
Golden Love - Lord Creator
Rub A Dub - King Stitt
Hold Me Tight - Lynn Taitt & The Jets
Wondering - Stevie Wonder
Rudy, A Message To You - Dandy Livingstone
Time Hard - The Selecter
Zion City - Laurel Aitken
Masturbation - beNUTS
It's Been A Long Time... Helen - The Deltones
Take Warning - Long Beach Dub All Stars
Love - Put3Ska
It Must Be Love - Labi Siffre
Cry for Me - Deal's Gone Bad
Dance All Night - The Tartans
Living In Fame - The Clash
I Don't Want to See You Cry - Ken Boothe